I tripped over the skateboard in the front hallway and cursed under my breath thinking about what I would say to child #2 when I finally saw him. “Get that damned skateboard out of the hallway!” was my first choice, something that would be followed by a litany of other crimes against humanity he had perpetrated with his strewn-about cleats, sneakers, and pieces of sports equipment.
Then, I stopped myself.
Yes, I’m the same woman who has been bemoaning the fact that child #1 leaves for college in less than two weeks, and about how fast it all went. The same woman who laments that she wishes she could stop time and get her babies back. I stopped, put the skateboard back where it was, and took a deep breath. In a couple of years, unless Jim and/or I take up skateboarding, there will be no more skateboards in the front hall, no Converse All-Stars to trip over, no crumbs strewn across the countertop in the kitchen after someone makes a sandwich or a snack.
You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t complain about the trappings of childhood while feeling bereft about how fleeting it is. When I think about it that way, the minor annoyances that living with children bring—no one walking the dog, stuff everywhere, dirt underfoot—now seem as trivial as they should be all the time. While they are growing up and getting older—as they should be—they are still residents here and with that comes a lot of stuff, some of seemingly annoying, but for now, I’ll take it.
A lot of my Stiletto brethren have gone through the process of letting go, so my question today is: how do you make it easier to get through the happiest times in your child’s life while dealing with your own sadness? In other words, how do you not ruin everything with your own selfish musings on how quickly childhood goes?